Buying SOLIDWORKS? 6 Questions Everyone Asks

6 Common Questions Everyone Asks When Buying SOLIDWORKS

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Note: As of April 1, 2022, SOLIDWORKS has updated pricing. In addition to student licenses, as of August 4, 2021, non-commercial use of SOLIDWORKS is now available to the hobbyist community via the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers program.

Thinking of making the switch to SOLIDWORKS? Or maybe you’re new to 3D CAD and wanting to try out the widely regarded industry-standard software for yourself.

Whatever the reason, here are answers to a few of the most common questions we get surrounding getting started with SOLIDWORKS.

1. Can I Download SOLIDWORKS for Free?

A part is being designed in SOLIDWORKS.

As with a lot of the top brands out on the market, the cost of SOLIDWORKS can add up. So how do you get a free license?

Unfortunately, there aren’t exactly free options with SOLIDWORKS.

Students come closest to getting off the hook with Dassault Systèmes offering student versions for a recommended price of $150. While this is significantly lower than the standard edition licensing fee, it’s still a significant cost when you’re a poor college kid living off ramen noodles.

There are some ways around the cost as some schools have Student Access Licensing that allows them a set number of networked SOLIDWORKS seats.

While a SOLIDWORKS license may not be free, you can take advantage of a free trial. This is a great option for those wanting to test out the software before making the commitment.

There are two free trial options:

  1. Traditional Free Trial – This trial type has different duration options (one day, seven day and 30-day periods) and allows you to try out all of the software’s functionality. If you’re interested in pursuing a  SOLIDWORKS free trial, we can help you get started.
  2. Online Free Trial – This is a great option for those not wanting to install the complete program on your system. You can explore free online trial options on the SOLIDWORKS site.

2. How Much Does It Cost to Buy SOLIDWORKS?

There are three different packages available when it comes to buying SOLIDWORKS – Standard, Professional and Premium.

License Type Cost About the License
SOLIDWORKS Standard perpetual license $3,995 and up The SOLIDWORKS Standard package includes common features like 3D modeling, assembly, sheet metal, weldments, plastic parts, mold design and a few others.
SOLIDWORKS Professional perpetual license $5,490 and up The SOLIDWORKS Professional package includes all of the features that are in Standard, plus additional features like photo-realistic rendering, part libraries and more.
SOLIDWORKS Premium perpetual license $7,995 While the SOLIDWORKS Premium package comes with a more hefty price tag, the features are of course more robust, including environmental impact analysis, structural part and assembly analysis, surface flattening and more.

It’s worth noting that larger companies may receive discounts through a reseller for bundling multiple seats of SOLIDWORKS. There are sometimes flexible options for those just starting out as well.

3. Is SOLIDWORKS Subscription Based?

SOLIDWORKS Subscription is an add-on that provides technical support, upgrades and new versions, certification exams and more – but you can still buy a perpetual license without a subscription.

Learn more about the full list of benefits that come with SOLIDWORKS Subscription on our website.

4. Can You Rent SOLIDWORKS?

Not sure you want to commit to a year of SOLIDWORKS? You can always check out term licensing and pay a set fee as low as $270/month. This means you can essentially rent a SOLIDWORKS license for a three-month or one-year term, rather than purchasing a perpetual license.

Term licensing is a great option for those wanting a little more flexibility and lower upfront costs while still getting full subscription benefits and technical support. Check out our website for more details on term licensing options.

5. Can I Use SOLIDWORKS Online?

A person is designing storage tanks in SOLIDWORKS.

If you don’t already have a SOLIDWORKS license, you can test SOLIDWORKS with an online product trial.

Already have a SOLIDWORKS license and are simply wondering if you can use it online? You can convert your standalone license to an online license. Check out our blog on “Everything You Need to Know About SOLIDWORKS Licensing Options” for more detailed information.


If you’ve browsed the SOLIDWORKS website, you may have noticed that they don’t have a lot of specifics when it comes to purchasing the software.

That’s because you can’t buy from them directly.

In order to purchase SOLIDWORKS, you have to go through a certified reseller like Hawk Ridge Systems.

The SOLIDWORKS software suite is extensive and it can be difficult to decipher which tools are right for you. That’s why we are here to factor in your industry, budget and software needs to help you land on the perfect solution.

Still have questions regarding SOLIDWORKS? Contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems and we will be happy to work with you. Thanks for reading!

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Jillian Schmid

Marketing Content Writer at Hawk Ridge Systems
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John T Park
John T Park
2 years ago

I am a 85 year old retired physics professor. I am in the middle of a project that immediately requires a software program to design parts for 3D printing. I used SOLIDWORKS during my career at Missouri University of Science and Technology. In retirement I want to use SOLIDWORKS for personal projects. My company uses other software that I find awkward to use and I do not want to spend time to learn a new software program. I can afford to buy the SOLIDWORKS license but it seems like overkill if I have any other options. A student version of SOLIDWORKS would be adequate but at 85 I can’t pretend to be a student although I am still learning something new every day.
Please advise.

2 years ago

I have a friend who uses solidedge and I use solidworks. Can you please share with me the steps to export, save as so I can manipulate former se files in sw? I’d greatly appreciate your assistance. Thanks, Robert

Jordan Winger
Jordan Winger
2 years ago

Hi Robert,
Both SOLIDWORKS and SolidEdge are built on the Parasolid modeling kernel so I would suggest that your friend export his models to Parasolid files. The Parasolid file format is one of many neutral file formats that can be opened in SOLIDWORKS.
Neutral file formats will erase all the feature information and history from the file, however. If you need to manipulate the file inside of SOLIDWORKS, you can use the direct editing capabilities built-in, as well as the Add-in called FeatureWorks (included with all versions of SOLIDWORKS). FeatureWorks will allow you to automatically, or interactively, rebuild the feature tree for prismatic parts inside of SOLIDWORKS.
Check out our video for more information on FeatureWorks:

2 years ago

how can i purchase this solid works?
im so interested in it

Ron B
Ron B
2 years ago

Would a month trial be enough?
I understand there’s a 30 day trial option, not sure if that’s enough time for your needs.

2 years ago

What software does your company use that is awkward as you stated, is it Inventor ?

Joao Paulo De Luca
Joao Paulo De Luca
2 years ago

Sir. That was exactly the reason why I became here in this arcticle. I know something of modeling and just bought a 3D printer to make some personal experiments and got scared with the princing. Brrr.